Lawyers are often so busy, that holidays can come and go in a blur. In case you missed it, the New Year just rolled over. It’s 2022, and everybody is making New Year’s resolutions. Most of those resolutions relate back to trimming the fat: from diets to budgets. Every lawyer’s hope is that his law firm will run leaner this year than it did last year. Of course, real, significant change rarely comes without some kind of impetus; and, that’s why, even if the turn of the New Year is largely an artificial construct, it is good enough as a marker, to move on from what you did before, toward what you’re doing now.
The problem with most of our New Year’s resolutions is that they’re just too big. True change occurs in increments, as habits are developed, over time. If you really want to improve the way you manage your law firm this year, take small bites. Now, that’s good holiday time advice if there ever was any.
If you don’t know where to get started, pick from our list of reachable New Year’s resolutions for law firms, and make 2022 your best year yet!
- Get the most out of your end-to-end legal practice management software. While you’ve likely moved on from legacy software, you may not be using all the features your software has to offer. Are your technologies integrated together? Do you have automatic payment processing set up? Are you sending automatic invoices?
- Require a second factor of authentication for access to all major law firm systems (email/calendar, case management, financial tools), in order to better secure your data. The most common ‘second factor’ is a code number sent via text to a phone. This works well because it’s unlikely that, in addition to discovering your system password, a hacker would also have access to your phone. Your practice management software likely has many of these controls built-in.
- Set specific goals this quarter; then, check-in, to see whether or not you achieved them. If you didn’t, consider what the reason for the failure was. Was the goal appropriate? Did you not give yourself enough time to fully commit to its accomplishment? Your practice management system has a wealth of data you can tap into.
- Shift to a more client-centered mindset. Think of the basic question you’ve entertained the most from your clients over the past year; then, write it down, and publish it to your blog, or send out an email. Continually showing value and investing in your client relationships will keep retention and referral rates high.
- Find your biggest annual expense from last year’s budget, and figure out whether there is a way to reduce that cost. Printing a lot? Maybe it’s time to get paperless. Low overhead is the key to happiness. If you’re using a CARET Legal practice management system, you can enable HotDocs document automation with ease.
- Track how much time you spend managing your own finances over the next quarter. How much time are you really saving, if you’re managing your own accounts? Make sure you’re using your built-in accounting capabilities or integrating with Quickbooks.
- Set up automatic payment processing. When was the last time you got paid? It probably directly relates to when you last invoiced your clients. With automatic payment processing like APX, you can set up invoices to be sent out automatically, and clients can pay instantly with a credit card.
For more advice on building processes that will reduce your frustration, increase your efficiency, and spare time, check out our blog today.